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Full text of "The Atlanta riot : a discourse [delivered] October 7, 1906"

The Atlanta Riot 

A DISCOURSE BY THE 

Rev. Francis J. GrimKe 

Pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church 



October 7, 1906 



PUBLISHED BY REQUEST 



THE ATLANTA RIOT. 



"Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suf- 
fered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in 
journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils 
from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the 
city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils 
among false brethren." — 2 Corinthians, 11: 24-26. 

The apostle Paul, in these words, sets forth the condition in 
which he found himself almost constantly. The term which he 
uses to describe this condition is the word peril. He tells us that 
he was in constant peril ; that he was beset by dangers on all sides. 
The sources of the danger of which he speaks, as set forth here, 
are four-fold: ;. 

1. From natural causes. He was in perils of rivers ; he was 
in perils in the sea. 

2. From the criminally inclined. He was in perils of 
robbers. 

3. From his own countrymen ; from the men of his own race, 
the men with whom he was identified by blood. 

4. From the Gentiles, from those who were not Jews. 

The apostle was a travelling missionary; and so was con- 
stantly on the go. Sometimes in these missionary tours he had to 
travel by water ; and so was exposed to all the dangers of the sea— • 
to storms and tempests-. One of these terrible storms in which 
the ship was lost, his travelling companion, Luke, has left a de- 
scription of for us in the Acts of the Apostles. 

Sometimes in his travels he had to journey along lonely 
passes and over barren mountain wastes, infested by robbers and 
other desperate characters : and so was liable to be treated as the 
man on his way from Jericho was, who was waylaid, robbed, and 
beaten almost to death. 

Sometimes in the discharge of his duties, as the ambassador 
of the. Lord Jesus Christ, he ran up against the prejudices of his 
own countrymen. The course which he was pursuing, and which 
be felt that he must pursue in obedience to the dictates of his 
own conscience and the expressed command, of Jesus Christ, whoei 
he once ],ersecu:ed, but in whose service he had now, enlisted for 
life, excited in his countrymen the most violent opposition. They 



4 



were ready to kill him at the first opportunity, as tiiey tried to 
do when he last visited Jerusalem. You remember that turbulent 
scene, as Luke describes it in Acts 21st chapter: "And all the city 
was moved, and the people ran together; and they laid hold on 
Paul, and dragged him out of the temple. And as they were seek- 
ing to kill him, tidings came to the chief captain of the band that 
all Jerusalem was in confusion/' A little farther on in the de- 
scription of what took place, we have also this record : u And they 
gave him audience unto this word; and they lifted up their voices 
and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not 
fit that he should live." 

Among the Gentiles he also found himself beset by dangers. 
At IMiilippi he and Silas were seized, cast into prison, and beaten 
with many stripes. At Ephesus, a riot was precipitated, during 
which the apostle had to conceal himself from the violence of the 
mob. 

In view of the record whick has come down to us, we can 
readily understand what the apostle means when he speaks of be- 
ing in perils. He was in constant danger, bodily danger; liable 
at any time to be violently assaulted ; to be maimed, or beaten to 
death. Whether he was on land or sea, in the city, or in the coun- 
try ; it was all the same. The same conditions surrounded him. 
Whichever way he went, whichever way he looked, the ghastly 
visage of danger stared him in the face. He was encompassed by 
perils. 

And what was true of the apostle Paul is true to-day of our 
race in this country, especially in the southedn section of it. We 
are in constant peril ; no one is safe for a moment. We are liable 
at any time to be shot down, to be brutally murdered. Character, 
intelligence, wealth, count for nothing. The most intelligent, the 
most respectable, the most industrious, the most law-abiding are 
in just as great danger as the most ignorant, the most vicious, the 
most indolent, the most lawless. Sometimes the more progress 
that is made, the higher the type represented, the greater the 
peril. The feeling among certain elements of southern society, 
among the poor whites — the lower classes — is more pronounced, 
is more virulent in its opposition to the well-to-do, the self-respect- 
ing, the aggressive elements of the colored race than against the 
shiftless, non-progressive, self-satisfied, who are content to re- 
main just as they are, who are without hope, without aspiration, 
without ambition. They are more tolerant of the one type, than 
of the other; they will take more from the one than they will from 
the other; they are not so easily offended by the one as by the 
other. And the reason for this is two-fold : 

1. It is tke result of envy, born of hatred. It hurts this class 



o 

Of whites to see the Negro prospering. They don't want him to 
succeed; they don't want him to get along. Somehow, they seem 
to feel that it detracts from them : that if this higher class of 
Negroes were out of the way, it would be better for them. The 
unprogressive Negro, the Negro that is content with present con- 
ditions, they are not concerned about, they have nothing to fear 
from that class; but it is the rising Negro, the Negro that is forg- 
ing to the front; who sees a future before him, and who is alive, 
wide-awake to the possibilities of the future — that he looks with 
especial disfavor upon ; and the reason for this is because he sees in 
that type of Negro a rival, a competitor in the struggle of life. And, 
in regarding him as a competitor, he is not mistaken. He is the 
type of Negro that lie will have to reckon with in the tierce battle 
of life. He is in the struggle and he is there to win. He is bound 
to get his share of the plums. The hatred, the opposition of this 
class of whites is not going to dampen his ardor or discourage him 
in the least. He has begun to forge ahead, and he is going to con- 
tinue to forge ahead. You can't stop the progress of a people; 
you can't keep a people from rising by hating them, by exhibiting 
toward them an envious and malicious spirit, if they themselves 
are in earnest ; if they themselves are determined to go forward ; if 
their minds are firmly made up to succeed. And this I believe is 
true of our race, — if not of all, — of a sufficient number, at least, 
to guarantee the result. Onward! is our watchword; and more 
and more is that thought taking possession of the masses of our 
people; more and more are we waking up to the thought that we 
have got to work out our own destiny in this country. And out of 
that t hough t or conviction is coming, more and more activity from 
within the race. As long as we feel that we must depend upon 
others; as long as we feel that we must look to others and not 
to ourselves, there will be more or less stagnation within the race. 
It is only as we come to feel, and to feel deep down in the bottom 
of our hearts that we "must sink or swim; live or die; survive or 
perish," through our own exertions, that the latent powers within 
the race itself w ill be awakened, and the forces necessary to lift 
it, to carry it forward, be generated. It is only as the race be- 
comes self-reliant that it will grow strong; that it will become 
self-respecting; and that it will command respect from others. 
And because the race is becoming more and more self-reliant; be- 
cause the. evidences are multiplying every year of greater activity 
from 1 within, we have nothing to fear from the envious and malic- 
ious spirit of the lower classes of whites in the south, in keeping 
us from rising, from taking an honorable place in the procession 
of those who are moving forward, in the onward march of 
progress. 



6 ' 

2. Another reason why a certain class- of whiles in the South, 
why, I may say, a very large proportion of the southern whites, 
are less tolerant of the aggressive, progressive, intelligent, thrifty, 
well-to-do Negro, than of the other class, is because it is the intel- 
ligent, progressive Negro who gives the lie to their theory of the 
Negro's inferiority. God made the Negro inferior, they say, God 
made him to be a servant; to be a beast of burden; a hewer of 
wood and a drawer of water. Some have gone so far as to deny 
his humanity, as to declare that he hasn't a soul. And while they 
are proclaiming his inferiority, while they are believing, or pre- 
tending to believe in his inferiority, right in their midst, all about 
them, the Negro is demonstrating his capacity, by proofs as 
strong as words of holy writ, to take his place along side of his 
detractors in all the avenues of life, where he has had the oppor- 
tunity. This hopelessly inferior race, this lowest type of human- 
ity, if he be really human, strange to say is found doing, and do- 
ing just as well, what the highest type is doing. In business, in 
scholarship, in all the higher activities he has been tried, not a 
great many, perhaps, but a sufficient number to determine the 
capacity of the race. He is succeeding in business; in the pro- 
fessions ; he is measuring up to the requirements of all the great 
universities of the land; and in the field of athletics, where dis- 
cipline and nerve, and the highest skill of a certain kind are neces- 
sary, he is not a whit behind his white competitor. I do not be- 
lieve in prize fighting and yet I was gratified the other day to 
read what referee George Siler had to say about Gans, the colored 
champion. "It is generally conceded," he said, "that Booker T. 
Washington has done much good and will do much for the col- 
ored race for its uplifting, its education, for making its members 
citizens in a true sense of the word; but with all that, in the en- 
tire course of his life work he never did one-tenth to place the 
black man in the front rank as a gentleman than has been done 
by Joe Gans. He has shown forbearance; he has shown courtesy; 
and in the ring on Monday he displayed chivalry which is not un- 
worthy of being classed with the superlative notions of the gentle- 
men of the middle ages who wore spring suits of boiler plate and 
tilted at everything in sight for the defence of some fair lady. He 
failed to take advantage of technicalities; he aided his fallen foe 
and was assaulted even while his glove still maintained his 
friendly grasp on that of his adversary. He fought a good fight 
when crippled, and although fouled more than once, refrained 
from taking the advantage which the rules gave him." 

In the Boston Sunday Post is also this statement: "The vic- 
tory of Gans brings up an interesting question. Is not the Negro 
a greater lighter than the white man? There are certainly good 



7 



grounds for coming to that conclusion when one recalls the name 
of Peter Jackson, the Australian heavy-weight, the only fighter 
whom John Sullivan ever feared ; George Dixon, whose equal has 
not yet been found among the bantam and featherweights; Joe 
Walcott, who still stands pre-eminent as the welter weight cham- 
pion; and now Joe Gans, the light-weight champion without a 
peer. There are four champions in four classes, and they were 
almost contemporaries. Add to that great quartette a few of the 
present near champions — Jack Johnson, the cleverest of all big 
men; Young Peter Jackson, Sam Langford and others, and then 
remember that all the white champions are steadfastly refusing 
to box with Negroes. It looks as if the black man had something 
on the white man in the ring." 

Wherever the Negro has been fairly tested he has made an 
honorable record for himself; has demonstrated his capacity to 
do what other races have done. All over the southland are 
unmistakable evidences of his progress ; unmistakable evidences of 
his capacity to do what other men have done. And yet, in spite 
of the record which he is making, the daily, hourly proof that he 
is offering of his ability to succeed, the old theory of his infer- 
iority is still maintained, is still insisted upon ; is still accepted as 
true. Instead of revising their theory in view of the facts, in- 
stead of rejoicing in the ever-growing evidence of the black man's 
progress and aiding in every possible way to hasten his develop- 
ment, the fact that he is forging to the front seems only to inten- 
sify the feeling against him. And one reason for this, as I have 
already said, is because it gives the lie to the white man's theory. 
It is worse than puerile to talk about the inferiority of the Negro 
in view of what he has done, is still doing, and of the promise 
which he gives of still larger things in the future. Every man who 
has given the matter any thought, who has taken the pains to in- 
form himself, to get hold of the facts, knows that the Negro is 
going forward, that he is making progress, commendable progress, 
along many lines. And in no part of the country is there greater 
evidence of this fact than in the southern section of our country. 
And yet there isn't a member of this race in all that southland 
who isn't in daily peril, who may not at any moment be violently 
assaulted, who has any rights which white men are bound to re-' 
spect. To have a dark face is to become a target for abuse, for 
insult ; is to give every white man the right to maltreat you, to 
kick and cuff you, and spit upon you. And if you resent it, if 
you dare to protest, to intimate that you have some rights that 
you would like to have them respect, the mob spirit is instantly 
evoked, and your brains are knocked out, or you are shot to death 
or burned at the stake. That is the condition of things all over 



8 



the South. There is no part of it, no section of it, however remote, 
of which this is not true. Everywhere the black man is beset by 
perils. He doesn't know what a day may bring forth; he doesn't 
/.mow what day he may be shot down, or some member of his 
family, or some friend or acquaintance murdered. We have just 
had an exhibition, a most shocking exhibition of the constant 
peril in which this race is forced to live, in the unprovoked, brutal 
and dastardly assaults that were made upon members of it in 
Atlanta, Ga. Assaults not upon the guilty, not upon the criminal 
classes, but upon all Negroes indiscriminately. The country was 
horrified; the whole civilized world stood aghast; and yet what 
took place in Atlanta may take place in any southern city at any 
time; the spirit that pervaded Atlanta — the murderous, blood- 
thirsty, Negro-hating spirit — is the spirit that pervades the en- 
tire South ; it needs only the occasion to call it forth. Paul was 
in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils of his own coun- 
trymen, in perils of the Gentiles — the Negro in the South is in 
peril of the white man. And it isn't an imaginary, it is a 
real peril, as the actual daily experiences of this race all over the 
South will testify. This is one reason why so many are getting 
away from the South. We are inclined to blame them, at times, 
but dare we under the circumstances? If we were situated as 
they are, what would we do? What would any man do who felt 
that lie could not surrender his manhood, and yet who was un- 
willing to sacrifice his life, to expose himself to the bullets of 
white assassins and murderers? 

Now, I know what will be said, what is being said : The Ne- 
gro has brought all this on himself; he has induced this condition 
of things; this peril that surrounds him is of his own making. 
It is a lie! TTie Negro race is not responsible for this condition- 
of, things. This is what John Temple Graves and others of his ilk 
have said in reference to the Atlanta massacre. Several assaults, 
it is alleged, were made on white women by Negroes, four or five 
in one week. Grant it. In what sense were the colored people of 
Atlanta rssponsible for those assaults? Were they parties to 
them? Did they know the assailants? Did they know that these 
assaults were to he made? Was it with their knowledge, with 
their approval? Did they connive at them? Did they give aid 
and succor to the assailants? No! Not even such whited sepul- 
chres as John Temple Graves, Hoke Smith and Clark Howells, 
who did everything in their power to fan the flames of race hatred, 
believed anything of the kind. The Negroes of Atlanta, as a 
class, had no more responsibility for those assaults than the 
whites as a ' lass had. The fact that the assailants were black, 
furnished no justification or excuse, for assailing the other mem- 



9 



bers of the nice who had nothing to do with them, and no knowl- 
edge of them. It is only a subterfuge, a lying device, behind 
which to hide their hatred of all Negroes. According to their 
own statement, the probabilities are that of all those who were 
brutally murdered not one guilty person suffered. 'They were all 
innocent, so far as we know, and so far as those who murdered 
them knew. The guilt or innocence of the victims played no part 
in the bloody tragedy. It was race hatred pure and simple. One 
Negro answered as well as another the demand of the mob. 

Now, I am not blaming white men; I am not blaming men of 
any race for being concerned about the protection of their women 
from assaults by brutes of any kind, be they white or black; I 
am not blaming white men for feeling indignant, wrought up, for 
being stirred to the very depths of their being, in view of such 
assaults. They would be less than men if they did not feel 
strongly about the matter. Such assaults cannot be too severely 
condemned; they are unspeakably infamous; and ought to be 
put down with a strong hand. I am not blaming white men for 
rising up and saying, This thing must stop. But I am blaming 
them — 

1. Because their concern is only for the protection of white 
women, while they care nothing about the protection of black 
women. It isn't the virtue of womanhood that they are anxious 
to protect, but of white womanhood. Black women might be as- 
sualted every day in the year without giving them the slightest 
concern ; without exciting in them the least indignation. The 
poor black woman's virtue counts for nothing with them. 

2. I am blaming them for taking the law in their own hands. 
Criminal assault is an offense for which the State has provided 
an adequate penalty. And the State alone is charged with the 
enforcement of the law. Great criminals and small criminals 
alike are to be tried by the properly constituted authority, and if 
found guilty, punished. It is not the province of any man, or set 
of men. who may feel aggrieved, to take the law in their own 
hands. In the case of assaults, as in the case of all other crimes, 
the law must be allowed to take its course. Those charged with 
enforcing it must be upheld. Everybody else must keep their 
hands off. Over against private revenge, against the individual 
attempting to right his own wrongs, stands this great idea of 
government. 

3. I am blaming them for not discriminating between those 
who commit assaults upon white women and those who do not. 
Four or five such assaults were made in and about Atlanta in one 
week, we are told, and therefore. Negroes indiscriminately must 
be shot down; Negroes indiscriminately were shot down. If the 



10 



assailants themselves had Ueen apprehended, the mob would 
have had no right to touch a hair of their heads — that was the 
function of the civil authorities — but when it attempts to deal 
with innocent men and women, to hunt them down like wild beasts 
with murderous intent, simply because of their race identity with 
the assailants, how much more to be condemned is such conduct. 

I regret to say there is a dispoition, and a growing dispo- 
sition, on the part of a great many white people, North as well 
as South, to blame the Negro race because of its criminal class. 
I, as a member of that race, utterly repudiate any responsibility 
for Negro criminals. What have I to do with the criminal Negro? 
What have you to do with him? What have hundreds and thou- 
sands and millions of our people all over the country to do with 
him, except to extend him a helping hand in trying to reform him, 
to lift him up, to make him a better man. But the fact that he 
is a criminal, what right has that to affect my standing in this 
community as an upright, straightforward, honorable citizen? 
What right has it to affect your standing in this community? 
What right has it to affect the standing of the same class of col- 
ored citizens in other communities? Because there are criminals 
among us, is that a reason why we should be classed as criminals? 
Why we should be treated as criminals? As an individual I claim 
the right to be judged by what I am; not by what somebody else 
is. This is the right which every white man claims, the right 
which is accorded to white men, why not to black men? Why 
should one criminal Negro, or a dozen, or a hundred, or a thou- 
sand of them, make all Negroes criminal? Why is the Negro race 
to be judged by its criminal class, and the white race not? The 
standing of no white man, or set of white men, is affected in any 
community by the fact that there are white criminals in that 
community. It is only where people of color are concerned that 
that rule is applied. I for one protest against it. It is wrong; 
totally, absolutely wrong. It has no foundation in reason, com- 
mon sense or justice. I am no criminal ; and I do not belong to a 
criminal race; and I will never rest content under any such as- 
persion. I utterly repudiate the imputation: I repudiate it for 
myself ; I repudiate for you, who are here ; I repudiate it for all 
the self-respecting people of color all over this country. So far as 
the criminal Negro is concerned, it is the duty of the State to deal 
with him as with other criminals of other races. So far as the 
Negro who is not a criminal is concerned — the Negro who is try- 
ing to make something of himself — it is the duty of the State it is 
the duty of society, it is the duty of the community where he lives 
to recognize that fact, and to treat him accordingly. In no sense is 
he to be classed with his criminal brother in black. It is unjust 



11 



to do so. It is to destroy in him every incentive to high endeavor. 

And now let me come to the point that I have particularly in 
mind. What shall we say to our brethren in the South, in view 
of their environments — in view of the perils that constantly be- 
set them? There are three things, I think, we ought to say to 
them : 

1. Don't be discouraged. Continue to do your utmost to 
develope yourselves along all lines — material, intellectual, moral, 
spiritual. Continue to buy farms; continue to go into business; 
continue to work at your trades ; continue to send your children 
to school; continue to sustain your churches, and to insist upon 
filling them with clean, pure men. Whatever your hands find to 
do, that is just and pure and lovely, and of good report, do with 
your might. Do your level best to make the most of yourselves, 
and of your children. Leave no stone unturned; be alive, wide 
awake; let no opportunity pass, unimproved. Work, work, hard 
persistent work, day in and day out, week in and week out, dur- 
ing all the months and years, is the course that must be pur- 
sued ; is the course that you have been pursuing. Continue to 
pursue it; continue to apply yourselves earnestly, faithfully in 
all the avenues of honorable endeavor, in which you are engaged. 
You have done well; and all the evidences indicate that each 
decade will find you still farther up the scale of progress. We re- 
joice with you, in all the efforts that you have made, and are still 
making to develop yourselves, to improve your condition. The 
struggle is a hard one, and it is going to be a long one; but suc- 
cess is bound to crown your efforts. You cannot fail as long as 
you are determined to succeed. 

2. Be discreet ; be cautious ; be very careful of what you say 
and do. Jesus, in sending his disciples forth, said to them, you 
will remember : "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst 
of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as 
doves." What He meant was, that they were to keep steadily in 
mind the fact that they were in the midst of wolves, among those 
who would be only too glad of the slightest pretext to ill-treat 
them, to violently assail them ; and therefore they were to be wise, 
prudent, careful not to give unnecessary offence; not to expose 
themselves to unnecessary danger. This is the principle upon 
which the apostle Paul always acted in his contact with men of 
various races and conditions; and it is one which is important for 
us, as a race, to lay to heart. I do not mean by this that we are 
to surrender a single principle; that we are to efface ourselves; 
that we are to sacrifice our manhood — our self-respect — by 
no means. Our manhood, our self-respect must be maintained at 
all times, under all circumstances; but at tbe same time we must 



12 



be cautions; we must not needlessly expose ourselves to danger. 
The wisdom of the serpent did not always save the apostles from, 
violence, from brutal assault; and it won't always save us; but it 
is the course, nevertheless, to be pursued. On the whole it de- 
creases friction; it lessens the evil. It gives a better opportunity 
for things to adjust themselves, a better opportunity for us to 
hold our own, while we are strengthening ourselves from within. 
The wisdom of the serpent is what our people need all over the 
southland, if they are to come out of the struggle in which they 
are engaged with the least harm to themselves; and are to work 
from the point of greatest advantage to themselves. 

3. Be prepared to defend yourselves, if necessary. I know 
the meaning of these words. I have carefully weighed them ; and, 
before God, I believe in the message which they contain. To every 
black man throughout the whole southland, I say, and say delib- 
erately, Be prepared to defend yourself if necessary. 

By this I do not mean that black men should go around with 
chips on their shoulders seeking a quarrel, seeking to foment 
strife and dissension. That is the last thing that they should 
think of doing, that they should permit themselves to engage in. 
If they are wise they will cultivate the spirit of peace, peace, 
peace. Their aim always should be to avoid strife. But if, 
through no fault of theirs, if, without any just provocation on 
their part, they are assaulted with murderous intent by individ- 
uals or by mobs, they should be prepared to defend themselves. 
The only defense which a black man in the South has against the 
mob is the defense which he throws around himself. He has no 
protection from the civil authorities. What did the civil authori- 
ties amount to in the bloody riot at Atlanta? Although the city 
was in the clutches of a set of fiends, hunting and shooting down 
Negroes indiscriminately, the Governor was asleep in his bed, 
and no one thought of waking him until the mob had spent its 
fury. And the Mayer, we are told, pleaded with the mob; and 
the mob took it only as a joke, knowing too well where the sympa- 
thy of the authorities usually is. Pleading with a mob! Who 
ever heard of pleading with a mob 1 There is only one effective 
way of dealing with a mob and that is to shoot it to death; to 
meet it in the same spirit of violence in which it comes. But there 
is no disposition on the part of the civil authorities in the South 
to meet it in {hat spirit when it is organized for the purpose of 
lynching Negroes. And therefore Negroes must be prepared to de- 
fend themselves. The men who usually compose mobs are nothing 
but a set of cowards ; they are ready to join in murderous assaults 
because they think that thev can do it with impunity, without 
incurring any danger. The duty of the Negro, therefore, in seek- 



13 



ing to protect himself from such violent outbreaks, is to make it 
as perilous as possible for the mob. When the mob understands, 
and understands from actual experience, that there are blows to 
take as well as blows to give, it will not be so quick to organize. 
The only thing which these cowards respect who organize mobs 
is force, brute force. The only thing which makes them think twice 
before acting, is the fear of being injured, of being hurt. If the 
civil authorities will not deal with mobs as they ought to be dealt 
with, then it is the duty of the Negro, in seeking to protect him- 
self from these organized assaults upon his life, to do what lie can 
to remedy the evil. There is but one way, as I have already said, 
to deal with a mob; and that is to shoot it to death; to riddle it 
w T ith bullets or dynamite it. And the Negro will be doing himself 
and the whole South a service by being prepared to make it as 
perilous as possible for the mob. 

Now, do not mi sunders tan d me. Bear in mind the point which 
I am discussing. I am not urging colored men in the South to 
make war on white men. I am simply saying it is their duty to be 
prepared to defend themselves against such organized and mur- 
derous assaults as were made upon them in Atlanta. 

These are the thoughts that have been running in my mind 
for the last ten days; these are the things that I have felt like 
saying to our brethren in the south. Don't be discouraged. 
Continue to do your utmost to develop yourselves along all lines, 
material, intellectual, moral, spiritual. Be discreet, be cautious, 
be very careful of what you say or do. Keep the peace: do all 
you can to preserve it : but at the same time be prepared to defend 
yourselves if necessary. This, I think, is good advice. It is the 
advice that ought to be given them. I don't think amy one can 
take any just exception to it. I believe it is sound, through and 
through ; that it is in harmony with the dictates of nature, and of 
morality, and of religion. If the Negro is not prepared to defend 
himself, he will be without defense. He will die as the fool dieth. 

Let us hope that this reign of terror in the South will not 
always last. That a change will come and come soon for the bet- 
ter. God hasten the time in this land when the spirit of frater- 
nity, of brotherhood, shall prevail everywhere ; when men of all 
races and colors shall mingle freely together, without bitterness 
•or hatred toward each other. May this land of ours, blessed as it 
is in so many ways, be an example to all the nations of the earth 
in justice, in humanity, in all the elements that go to make up a 
truly Christian civilization. The black man is here to stay; and 
the white man is here to stay; and there is no reason why thej 
shouldn't live in peace and amity, if they will both do right ; if 
they will both fear God, and keep his commandments; if they will 



both set up the golden rule, and settle all of their differences in 
the spirit of him who came not to be ministered unto, but to min- 
ister, and give himself for others. Let us all pray that this spirit 
may descend upon us all, black and white alike. The prayer of 
old Governor Hampton, on his death-bed, was : "God bless all my 
people, black and white alike." And that is the spirit that is 
needed ; that is the prayer that will bring peace, lasting peace. 

"When Russia was in one of her great wars the suffering of 
the soldiers had been long and bitter and they were waiting for 
the end of the strife. One day a messenger in great excitement 
ran among the tents of the army shouting: Peace! Peace! The 
sentinel on guard asked: 'Who says peace?' and the sick soldier 
turned on his hospital mattress and asked : 'Who says peace?' and 
all up and down the encampment of Russians went the question : 
' Who says peace V The messenger responded : 'The Czar says 
peace! That was enough. That meant going home. That meant 
the war was over. No more wounds and no more long marches. " 

And so, when the Czar in this country, when public sentiment — 
black public sentiment, and white public sentiment, public senti- 
ment among the best of both races, shall say peace, there will be 
peace. Our duty, therefore, is to set ourselves earnestly to work 
to make such a sentiment. We can all lend a hand; we can all- 
do something; we can make the effort, at least. And if the same 
thing is going on among the whites, soon there will be no more 
bloody massacres ; there will be no more race conflicts.